AMF - Guide to the freezing of assets 2020

The guide from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers on asset freezing is a tool to support professionals in understanding the different regimes applicable in France with regard to asset freezing.

Indeed, several regimes coexist: UN and European regimes in the form of European regulations of direct application and a national regime provided for by the Monetary and Financial Code.

It provides information on:
the scope
- overview of the different applicable regimes
- a clarification of the scope of these regimes
- the obligations of professionals at each stage of the freezing process.

Guide :


Reminder on the notion of asset freezing

Fight against the financing of terrorism: the rules on the freezing of assets clarified

In 2016, in order to strengthen the fight against the financing of terrorism, the General Directorate of the Treasury and the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR) adopted joint guidelines on asset freezes decided by the UN, the European Union or the Government.

The asset freeze, an effective measure

The Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR) - General Directorate of the Treasury guidelines are part of the Minister's action plan to combat the financing of terrorism. Freezing measures are decided in the framework of international financial sanctions regimes by the United Nations Security Council and by the European Union in reaction to a violation of international law or in the context of the fight against terrorism.

The Minister of Finance and Public Accounts can also decide. Jointly with the Minister of the Interior. By decree, to freeze, on a national basis, the assets of persons or entities linked to terrorist activities.

The asset freezing measures notably oblige financial organizations to freeze the assets of persons or entities designated in a European regulation or an order, as soon as they are published in the respective Official Journal. They thus constitute an effective instrument in the fight against the financing of terrorism. By blocking the funds and resources of designated persons or entities as well as operations carried out for their benefit, freezing measures hamper the financing of terrorist acts.

Freezing obligations made easier for financial organizations

The joint ACPR-Directorate General of the Treasury guidelines specify the freezing obligations imposed on financial organizations (banks, insurance organizations, fund transmitters, money changers, crowdfunding intermediaries) subject to the control of the ACPR, and are an aid to the operational, diligent and effective implementation of freezing measures.

The ACPR / Tracfin guidelines relating to reporting and information obligations to Tracfin, are a pledge of the commitment of the Place de Paris to fight effectively against terrorism and its financing.

The register of asset freezes

Under Article L. 561-2 of the Monetary and Financial Code, persons subject to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism are required to implement without delay the asset freezes pronounced by France. . In addition, European regulations on freezing assets on an autonomous basis in the EU or resulting from United Nations resolutions are applicable by all natural and legal persons.

In order to allow professionals subject to AML-CFT and the operators concerned to meet these freezing obligations, a national register of persons and entities subject to a freezing measure is established, in application of article R.562-2 of the Monetary and Financial Code.

This register lists all the persons, entities and vessels affected by asset freezing measures in force on French territory, in application of national, European and international (UN) provisions.

Virginie Gastine Menou

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